I am looking to take the plunge into a laser for my cnc. Optlasers seems to have a decent deal on right now for for their Onefinity cnc kit (free u-spot lens and air assist nozzle), but doesn’t have any support from Onefinity themselves, which seems reasonable since its a 3rd party accessory. Or I can order the J-tech laser straight from Onefinity, I am in Canada so this is the all around easier option. The price difference would be around $300 more to go with the Optlasers but again seems to include more accessories and a better build quality.
I am looking for some feedback from anyone who has used either. My use for it would be for engraving wood and I am hoping to cut 3mm or less plywood occasionally with it.
One thing to keep in mind, we only sell and support the jtech laser, so if there an issue with another brand, you’d be reliant on the community for assistance.
Thanks so much for bringing this sale to our attention. Those discounts amount to about 1/3 off. What a bargain. Shipping all the way from Poland is $33. My order is in!
I have the Opt Lasers with µSpot and air assist nozzle and I’m very pleased with it. I published my first impressions a while ago. With more experience, what I like:
- material and build quality, mostly metal
- safe: the laser detaches itself and turn itself off it you crash the head in the board. No arm to the laser or… to you!
- air nozzle makes for very clean engraving/cuts, particularly if you place an honeycomb under the board to cut
- they ship from EU, so no problems with VAT/import fees
I have had no problems engraving and, after fine tuning my settings, I can cut 3mm ply in one pass. I use Lightburn and Fusion 360. A recent project.
Curious: What can you engraver with the laser? Are they able to engrave fine detail in metal (Al or Ag) or is it limited to wood and plastics
Thanks for the feedback Ben, I had reviewed your first impressions post earlier and your pumpkin boxes look amazing, I am pretty sure that I am going to go ahead and order the Opt lasers kit, it just seems like a better overall value. I may need to pick your brain once it arrives, what kind of pump did you get for the air assist?
I have only done wood but Opt Lasers claims that they can engrave metal. I tried Delrin and the laser has no effect at all.
I plugged it into my compressor, via a pneumatic push in connector, which I run at very low pressure.
Reportedly you can use an aquarium pump (you really don’t need a lot of pressure) but the compressor is close to the CNC so I had no need to buy a new pump.
Steel is demonstrated and impressive and the detail on some of the examples look fantastic.
Now I’m interested but feel that I should concentrate on what I have - I fancy the metal/silver engraving
Just some purchase info for anyone else looking at the Opt Laser - I decided to go for the PLH3D-6W-XF+ Opt Laser Onefinity kit. Their current ‘Black November’ promo included: Free µSpot Lens & Air Assist Nozzle - these we’re basically the deciding factor for me over Jtech. I added a couple of backup cables to my order ($5/USD ea), and shipping to Canada was $33USD.
After the conversion to CAD$ - the kit costs a couple dollars under $1200 CAD.
I would choose opt lasers only because of the overall quality feeling compared to Jtech and also because of the fact that you can get different lenses to the laser module as well as high pressure air assist nozzles etc.
I have not owned Jtech. I was thinking about buying it when i started to look into diode lasers but quite fast i found opt lasers and i was sold to them.
An i can really recommend Opt Lasers. The quality is really good as well as the support. I have owned it for over 1.5 years now with no problems till this day.
A real nice dimond for around 1k€.
@ben @pZq @SnowCrash and anyone else who might have an Opt laser. Really like the looks and features of the Opt lasers and strongly considering one.
But having a hard time finding any info on the OF controller PWM frequency output. Have only seen 1000 hz for the Jtech and same on one other post. I saw where Opt is recommending 5,000-10,000 hz, and an in-depth review on YouTube seemed to suggest the higher frequencies help a good bit with how fast you can run a detailed photo rastering, for example.
Anyone able to confirm if you can set the PWM frequency to 10,000 or even higher? What frequency are you running yours at?
Thanks for any info sharing
I have 50khz frequency set on the opt lasers. It gave me the best “response” in engravings.
I would recommend at the monrnt the xt-50 laser which have a 50 micron spot size which is quite near 1:1 square shaped.
I cannot confirm what is the max frequency that opt lasers will respond to but i saw a difference between 5khz, 10khz, 20khz and 50khz tests. The 50khz gave best shading details in engravings.
Interesting, I used the default setting, without realising that the frequency could have an effect. I will experiment…
I forgot to mention that i dont have OF controller. I use planet-cnc which can output up to 500khz frequency.
I have been engraving with up to 15meters/min feeds but lately at around 8m/min.
As said the owm frequency helps how fast you can engrave or the dot size per pwm pulse. But what comes in OF frequency i dont know the MAX.
Thanks for response. Appreciate it!
That’s great to see your recommendation on the XT-50 because that’s exactly the laser I was looking at. Very interesting in terms of DPI and also the concentrated beam that seems to allow actual steel engraving. Appears to be a unique product in the somewhat hobby range.
The speeds you mention below are also pretty impressive. I see you’re using a different controller, but I’m assuming your machine is a Onefinity. Have you been happy with the Onefinity’s stability and low enough vibration for higher DPI lasering?
This is very helpful
I’ve poked around the OF and Buildbotics documentation, as well as the forums, and haven’t found that info. May be out there somewhere but I wasn’t able to track it down.
Any experimenting you’re willing to share would be very welcome
Actually i must say i hoped i would have gotten a onefinity when they started up in a co-operation means but i didnt and have been hanging around in the forum since that . If you have onefinity already. Try to increase the speeds as high as possible and check the tip of the router with finger. Do you feel vibration ? If you dont feel vibrations then its good. Maybe also by using some screwdriver to against the z axis while running a raster movement on x axis could tell you the amoykt of vibration.
I have a own built frame with closes loop steppers which may give better feed speeds. Earlier i had steppers and they started to loose steps already at 3500mm/min…
With closed loop steppers i can go up.to 20m/min without load…so basically could work for lasering purposes… but i think i will have to much vibration because of rolled ball screw.
Thanks Peter. Well, I’m glad you stuck around! This info is great.
Congrats on your build. Maybe a OF will work out for you someday too. It’s a nice machine obviously by all the people enjoying it.
I’ll check the vibration as you mentioned. Basically I’m trying to get a sense if the standard OF set-up will let me take advantage of the fine lasering capabilities of the XT-50. From what little I know PWM frequency and vibration are some of the biggest factors. Appreciate your real-world experience. I’ve never used a laser before, but it looks like it opens up a whole new area of possibilities.
I may upgrade controller and steppers some day too, but have enough to learn for now.
Just out of curiosity, and off topic, did you use an aluminum or steel frame for your build?
The thing is. The lower speed you can go, the better shade and resolution you get.